Never thought I'd say it...

...BUT, one thing that I really miss about Florence/Italy is all of the adorable little motorini (scooters) whizzing by. Sure, sometimes I felt like there was a strong chance I'd be run over by one of the darn things, but they are so quintessentially Italian. I confess to taking more than my share of touristy scooter photos during my time in Florence.

The newest Vespa models are not only well-designed and stunning, but so is the marketing! I signed up for their email list years ago and just can't quit it because 1) I love seeing the new models and 2) I love seeing what their designers cook up each new season. The design nerd in me is in love with their newest promotional work.

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I can totally picture myself zipping around town in one of these! The cream colored model with the red seat has my name all over it. Until that moment comes, however, I'm satisfied with living vicariously through my photos from Florence.

Happy Weekend

A few bloggers that I love and adore do these regular weekend link roundups. Essentially, they share their favorites articles, products and findings from around the web each week. I love these posts because I'm able to find some really neat things that simply didn't cross my radar during the week.

So, in that spirit, here are a few things that I read this week and just have to share...

 

A science-y article from Time about the secrets of living to 115 years old.

I call 'em hoagies, which explains why I love the Phillies, thank to the New York Times.

One of my faves, Rifle Paper Co, has even more amazing illustrated city prints.

I love Danielle LaPorte and her core desired feelings library is so pretty and fun.

These jersey dresses from Old Navy are fast becoming my spring/summer uniform.

The marketer in me loves deconstructing generosity by the always enlightening Seth Godin.

Mad props (yeah, I said it) to Young House Love. Been there, felt that. Blogging isn't always easy.

Future grandfather has the most wonderful, heartwarming reaction ever.

 

Photo of Bali found via Pinterest.

Our Family Photos from Paris

To say I'm happy about our family photos from Paris would be the understatement of the century. Katie Donnelly is so talented and lovely -- I can't recommend her highly enough if you are in Paris and want to capture your visit to the city.

If you need any reassurance about how awesome Katie is remember this post where I mentioned that the Hash family was barely sleeping in Paris. It was a nightmare! But, somehow, some way, Katie managed to capture us at our best (and maybe even worked some PhotoShop magic on bloodshot eyes). That's some serious photographic voodoo magic right there folks.

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As an FYI, if you're looking for a family photographer in our old home of Florence, Italy, I can recommend both Mollie Pritchett and Birgitte Brøndsted.

36 Hours in Lawrence, KS

For 36 hours last week we found ourselves in Lawrence, Kansas. Now, I know what you're thinking...Kansas? What could possible be there? Well, let me be the first to tell you this surprising news: Lawrence, Kansas is awesome. The town is fantastic. The restaurants and food are out of this world (think local, sustainable, farm-to-table). The people are so, so friendly.

I'll talk more about why we were visiting later, but in the meantime I just needed to fill you in on this fun, hipster-friendly town that I'm a little embarrassed wasn't even close to on my radar until very recently. First, lets talk about where we ate...

Merchants Pub and Plate

Kansas Kansas Kansas

Located at 746 Mass Street, Merchants Pub and Plate place has amazing pub fare. To call it pub food seem a bit unfair -- it's much more creative, adventurous and downright tasty than what you'll find in a normal pub. Most, if not all, of the menu is sourced from nearby vendors and farms. The beer list is insane with something around 30+ on tap (Rob was in heaven). We split the Chipotle Chicken Sandwich and the Sloppy Joe. Both outrageously good. Plus, we showed up at 3pm after a long trip into town and had the place to ourselves. Lord, I love being back in America where I can get a meal any time of the day. FYI: I really meant to take pictures of the food, but we ate it embarrassingly fast.

715

Kansas Kansas Kansas

For anyone out there that thinks you can't get delicious, "fancy" food in small town America, please think again and visit 715 on Mass Street. I simply couldn't ignore everything that I was reading about this place online and insisted that we do a date night. We were not disappointed. From the cheese plate to the drinks to the main dishes, everything was exceptional. All of the dishes were so thoughtful and the flavors so simple, yet tasty. The decor was also wonderful.

Where I got my coffee: Z's Divine

Kansas

Lawrence reminded me so much of Louisville with it's plethora of locally-owned coffee shops. There were so many to choose from (and I really wanted to try about 10 of the ones that I skipped), but I found myself go back to Z's Divine three times during our stay. It was just so good and I like my coffee reliably tasty. They have a ton of outdoor seating and I imagine how it must be fun in the summer to sip an iced coffee and people watch!

Can you tell that I loved Lawrence? I guess that I expected Kansas to feel somehow foreign or crazy different -- and maybe other parts of Kansas would -- but Lawrence was so neat and fun and reminded me so much of the vibe of the Highlands neighborhood in Louisville. So, in a sense it felt a bit like home.

FYI: Lawrence is only a 40 minute drive from Kansas City, so if you find yourself on a layover or randomly in the city, I recommend making the drive to check out this fun town.

 

The Family Portrait Project

In 2011, I had a family portrait painted by Inslee Haynes. It was the first time that I'd ever sprung for a custom portrait of any sort and I totally fell in love with it! After that experience, I decided have a family portrait made each year.

In 2012, I found My Little Buffalo, a graphic design firm out of Portland. The style was so quirky and fun. For 2013, I had an artist on Etsy make it. I'm not going to link to her because I found her really slow and uncommunicative, but I still really like the final product, so I'm happy in that respect. 

I think getting portraits done is a really fun way to capture our little family as it changes. Photography is amazing (photos from Paris coming soon!), but there is something so cute and special about these.  I love that we can change the artistic style up each year, too.

Here is the 2013 family portrait...

Here's 2012:

And, finally, a flashback to 2011:

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